It’s that time of year again: the time of year when we gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and enjoy party after party full of fantastic food! Then there is that other time of year: the one where we feel guilty for all the eating and celebrating we have done, and want to make it all disappear by making New Year’s resolutions. We have all been there at one time or another. But this year is going to be different. We are actually going to stick with the resolutions we make, not only for a week, or a month, but for good!
In the fitness industry, we see the same issues regarding New Year’s resolutions every year. We just can’t stick with them! It is the same goals every year. Resolutions like, “I’m going to lose 50 pounds,” or “I’m going to stop eating junk food,” are ones that I’ve heard over and over again. But sometimes, keeping your resolutions simple can help you achieve larger goals in the long run.
If you are someone who wants to take control of your health, a great way to do accomplish that is to simply get active! Many people spend their work week stuck at a desk every day with absolutely no physical activity. The principle here is simple: if you’re not moving, you’re not losing. Every extra minute of activity is additional calories burned, which means weight will come off eventually. An easy way to achieve this goal is to set aside twenty to thirty minutes each day to add any activity that you enjoy doing. Whether it’s walking, jogging, playing a sport, recreational activity with friends or family, anything to get you moving will be greatly beneficial.
Join a Fitness Center
If you find it hard to motivate yourself to get active on your own, joining a facility or club may be the right move for you. Fitness centers are full of people trying to achieve the same things you are in a variety of different ways. Whether it is members trying to get in shape, bulk up, or get ready for spring break, a fitness center can be a great option. You can meet friends before or after work, and get to it!
Use the Buddy System
Working out with a partner is helpful because you can hold each other accountable, while having fun at the same time. Adding fitness to your lifestyle not only benefits your health, but also allows you to squeeze some social time with friends into your busy schedule.
Set Attainable Goals
Keep your goals reasonable; you don’t want to set yourself up for failure. For instance, if you your goal is to lose weight, don’t put a number on it unless that number is going to be achievable. Set your first goal for 10 pounds, and once you reach that, set your next goal incrementally higher. Keep in mind that a healthy approach to weight loss is losing one to two pounds per week; so keep your goals realistic.
Cut Out Junk
If you are trying to cut back on junk food, here is a very simple way to do it. It’s almost impossible to quit “cold turkey,” so try just toning it down a notch. Instead of eating a whole candy bar, eat half. An even better option is to find a healthier alternative. If you are frequently tempted by your sweet tooth, try replacing that chocolate treat with fruit or peanut butter. Using this sweet substitute allows you to indulge your craving without the added empty calories.
Keep those New Year’s Resolutions simple and celebrate each achievement! Remind yourself that it is not about temporary effort, but making a lifelong change towards a healthier you.